Shout Out (6)

THANK YOU, CHIEF J.B.O OJO, OUR DEAR PRINCIPAL!

I remembered Chief J.B.O Ojo, an old boy of the prestigious Government College, Ibadan, Nigeria (GCI), and former principal of the same school recently, and I decided to do a short tribute to him.

Before I go on, please permit me to declare that this tribute is not intended to draw attention to myself in any way!  It’s simply intended to honour Chief J.B.O Ojo, a perfect gentleman, foremost educationist, renowned sportsman, astute administrator, and an ardent lover of people, who I owe a debt of gratitude, for making it possible for me to attend GCI in the first place. It was him who alerted my Dad about the interview, which gave birth to my set when they met at a social function. Up until now, the letter inviting me for the said interview has not surfaced.

It may interest you that I was a motor mechanic apprentice at some point in my life, even though I had always wanted to be a Medical Practitioner. But, along the way, I derailed and abandoned my studies at GCI for a while in Class Two. The reason being that a senior boy called me a leper; a derogatory label in our culture, and an insult to me, a self-believing prince of Àkúré Land, Nigeria.

To my non-Nigerian readers, please note that unlike in the developed world, being a motor mechanic is not a great achievement in Nigeria. The profession is common among the poor members of our society, and among those who are not trainable, academically speaking. A lot of mechanics in our country, are viewed as failures and are usually hard up financially.

I was under the tutelage of Baba Yellow, an Adamasingba, Ibadan, based motor mechanic, without my father’s consent. He was overseas at that time, and my mother could not successfully persuade me to go back to school.

Baba Yellow was a good and easy-going man! He had a couple of wives, many children, a rented apartment, and a fairly used green Opel Record car. To me, he was a success story, and I wanted to be like him at all cost.

I wish to put it straight on record here that I actually lied to Baba Yellow that my father asked me to join his outfit because he could no longer afford to send me to school. But, he saw through my lies and rejected me immediately. He knew my father to be a keen lover of education, who would never allow any of his children to drop out of school.

However, while he was contemplating what he would do with me, I melted into his crowd and started taking instructions from his senior apprentices and running errands for them. And within a short time, I became famous in and around his garage. I believe Baba Yellow eventually allowed me to be, after seeing how committed and resolved I was to become a motor mechanic.

I settled down very quickly at Baba Yellow’s garage, and before long, I picked up some traits associated with many motor mechanic garages in Nigeria. That is dirtiness, playfulness, talkativeness, deceitfulness, waywardness, etc. Besides, I learnt how to sweet-talk girls to a little extent. I remember having a crush on a girl who sold bread and cooked beans (‘èwà elépo pupa’), nearby. She told me off eventually!

Above was my life, until my father returned home from his overseas trip unannounced one night, and saw me in my greasy, dirty, and smelly khaki mechanic uniform. Of course, he was very angry with me, and very early the following day, he bundled me back to GCI, amid loud protestation from me. That was how my dream of becoming a motor mechanic like Baba Yellow ended abruptly and completely.

As luck would have it, Chief J.B.O Ojo, accepted me back to GCI unconditionally and protected me. He was even kind enough not to announce my escapade to all and sundry, thus, saving me from unpleasant backlashes and everlasting cruel jokes.

Today, Chief J.B.O Ojo is no more with us on earth, but I am full of gratitude to him for giving me a rare second chance. His contribution to who I am today cannot be overemphasized. May his gentle and sweet soul continue to rest in perfect peace, in Jesus name. Amen.

Dr Adedayo Adegbulu (Dr Stoney),

Medical Practitioner, Author, Speaker.

 

Shout Out (5)

GCI, OUR GCI!

Shortly after I finished my School Certificate Examination, I suddenly found myself grossly underutilized, and unbearably bored. Of course, I tried to get myself a vacation job, but, it seemed the employers of labour around us were allergic to people in my position. Before long, I gave up, and I quietly looked forward to going back to school in September, after the release of our result.

One morning, as I was chatting with a friend in front of our house, Broda Dare, one of my uncles, emerged from nowhere. In general, I did not fancy him much, and that day, I struggled really hard not to snub him.

But, I noticed that Broda was unusually excited to see me; he was also in a hurry to talk to me. In the end, I said ‘OK Broda, ki ni’ (Okay brother, what is it? ‘Dayo, I am here to see you O’! He replied. ‘I see, what for’? I asked him, barely concealing my impatience. ‘I have arranged a Research Assistant vacation job interview for you in the History Department of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria (U.I), he answered in adulterated Yoruba language. Broda Dare was then a gardener in the same University!

‘Broda, you see yourself? Why should you arrange a History job for me without my consent? For your information, I hate History, so please go away with your job ja re’! ‘Bo’mi, mo bi nu si mi, wa se’se un ni o, mo d’oju ti mi, dabo’ (my brother, don’t be angry with me, you have to do this job; please don’t disgrace me).

I later found out that Broda Dare had gone everywhere, boasting to everyone who cared to listen to him that I, his nephew, a brand new old boy of Government College Ibadan (GCI), an internationally renowned boys school in Nigeria, was coming to ‘grab’ the job. To him, GCI boys were extraordinary human beings, and he couldn’t see why I would not get it. After pleading with me for a while, I agreed to attend the interview, and his contorted face relaxed temporarily for a change. He was full of joy!

I went for the interview as planned, only to find out that eleven others, all men, came for it too. I was the youngest, and the most junior of the whole lot. I was also the only non-undergraduate among them, and it was obvious that some of the blokes felt insulted to see a small boy like me in their midst. It was as if I was there to spoil their little party. One of them even tried to intimidate me, but I stood my ground solidly.

After waiting for what looked like an eternity to me, a young stylish looking, pipe in mouth lecturer came out of an inner office, cleared his throat, and said, ‘who is the GCI man here’. I raised up my hands, and he looked at me from head to toe, obviously surprised to see me, a mere small boy. Honestly, I expected him to order me out of his presence, and I was prepared for him. After all, what would I be doing in a History Department, in the midst of ‘old men’, if not for Broda Dare, who wouldn’t take no for an answer? Guess what? He just smiled, and said, ‘Mister Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu, the job is yours, others should please go away’. I was stunned; others were too!

Later, when we were alone, I asked him why he chose me over and above the other guys who were much older, and better qualified than me. Again, he smiled and said ‘you are a GCI old boy, you were trained to excel in all things, at all times. Don’t worry, Dayo, you will be fine with me; I will support you’. He was not an old boy of GCI!

By the time I got to where Broda Dare was mowing a lawn, he had already heard that I got the job, and I met him dancing and bragging, saying “You see, I told you that my nephew would get the job. He is an ex-GCI, his own GCI is ‘ojulowo’ (original)’. Before long, Broda’s joy infected me, and I found myself dancing with him. I did not join him to brag though! He later bought me a bottle of Pepsi Cola, and ‘Senega’ bread (a spindle-shaped bread in vogue at that time), to thank me for not disappointing him.

That was the type of school we attended by the grace of God. The school that made people prefer us above others. The school that gave us the confidence and skills we need to do well in life beyond its confinement. The school of our pride built on the rocks. Like most famous institutions in Nigeria, GCI is no more what it used to be, due to the irresponsible disposition of our political leaders, but, it lives in us, and it will live in us forever.

I love my school! God bless ‘GCI, our GCI’ forever. Amen.

Dr Adedayo Adegbulu (Dr Stoney),

Medical Practioner, Author, and Speaker

Shout Out (4)

THANK YOU NEPA; UP YOU!

The National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), the Nigerian electricity company, is notorious for its sickening inefficiency and massive corruption. And most times, it attracts opprobrium upon itself from Nigerians, for obvious reasons. However, this same NEPA saved me at some point when I was a student of the prestigious Government College Ibadan, Nigeria (GCI). Please permit me to narrate what happened to you today.

Majority of my classmates in Carr House were not known to be great in the GCI social circle. I believe we just didn’t know how to be social. But, a very few of us easily rubbed shoulders with the numerous ‘social gurus’ in Swanston House. Swanston House boys were our standard at that time.

As an individual, I wanted to be a ‘raré’ (super cool guy) like the aforementioned boys, and I concluded that one of the fastest ways I could achieve my aim was to attend a school social function, and at least be seen talking to, or dancing with a girl, preferably from Queen’s School, Ibadan, Nigeria (QSI), St. Anne’s Girls School, Ibadan, Nigeria (ANZEA), St. Theresa’s College, Ibadan, Nigeria (TÈRÉ), or Our Lady of Apostle, Ibadan, Nigeria (OLA).

One Saturday evening, when I was in class two going to class three, I strayed into a school party in the assembly hall. It was attended by loads of girls from various girls’ schools in Ibadan, and environs. A small number of boys from a few secondary schools were in attendance too.

On seeing the bevvy of girls, my confidence began to wane, but the appeal to become a ‘raré’ deterred me from changing my mind at that point. So, I approached a QSI girl, and the following conversation, paraphrased, ensued between us.

Adedayo Adegbulu: Hello, please floor.

QSI girl: What do you mean by ‘please floor’.

Adedayo Adegbulu: I mean please dance.

QSI girl: You must be joking. You and who? Who do you think you are, and what do you take me for?

Adedayo Adegbulu: Please, don’t say no to me.

QSI girl: And if I say no, what will you do?

Adedayo Adegbulu: I will be very sad, and when I grow up, and become your boss, I will sack you. Remember, no condition is permanent. Please dance with me, I am begging you in the name of God.

QSI girl: (looking at me with surprise, clapped her hands, hissed, and began to laugh) You really disgust me you know, please just leave me alone, and go away with your Èkìtì English. Èkìtì is a big section of the Yoruba tribe found in the South-Western part of Nigeria, and Èkìtì English is generally believed to sound funny.

A nearby QSI girl interjected: Why don’t you give this small boy a chance? Why don’t you make his day by dancing with him?

QSI girl: Okay o Èkìtì boy, let’s go and dance, but please behave yourself, you hear?

Adedayo Adegbulu: I will behave myself, but I am not an Èkìtì boy, I am from Àkúré. Àkúré is a Yoruba town in Nigeria!

QSI girl: Please, just shut up and follow me.

Next, she held my hand and led me to the floor. That was too much for me to handle because back home, we were told that only bad children hold hands with people of the opposite sex.

Anyway, we got to the floor, and I started to sweat profusely. I also felt dizzy and saw flashes of light orbiting around my head. There and then, I knew I was in serious trouble; I knew I could pass out at any time. Therefore, I began to panic, just because of ‘this rude’ QSI girl, and my desire to become a ‘raré’ at all cost.

Suddenly, NEPA struck; there was a power outage! So, I quickly abandoned her on the floor, mustered the remaining energy in me, and ran all the way back to Carr House (quite a distance for a small boy), panting and sweating profusely, but full of joy that I survived the ordeal I needlessly brought upon myself. That was how NEPA saved me from imminent shame and indelibly horrific history.

In the end, I still got the veneration I craved for in Carr house, because some boys saw the girl holding my hand, and concluded that I was ‘raré’ enough. Of course, I did not argue with them; I felt really super cool afterwards. Thank you NEPA, up you!

Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu (Dr. Stoney)

Medical Practitioner, Author, Speaker

Shout Out (3)

YOU NEED TO GIVE TO BE GIVEN!

I grew up in a small two bed room bungalow with a very huge population. And at any point in time, we had lots of people; uncles, aunties, cousins, relatives, friends, strangers, etc., living with us. But, we were happy, even though we had very little by way of possessions. Sadly, our seeming deprivation, made me to hold on to whatever I had, since I felt I would never be able to replace them, once they were gone.

That was how I was when I entered Government College, Ibadan, Nigeria (GCI) as a form one student. Apart from being stingy, I did not behave too well too, so I was always in trouble. But, there was this tall and unassuming Lower Sixth Student, a born-again Christian fresh from Eastern Nigeria, who accepted me as I was. He was very patient with me, and he took good care of me. He even allowed me to sleep on his bed a few times; a mind-boggling treat in those days. Two other senior boys, Bro Fisayo Fagbemi (of Powell House (one of the fives boarding houses in GCI), and brother of Ayokunle Fagbemi, and Sina Fagbenro-Byron (Carr House), also allowed me to sleep on their beds in later years.

Shortly before lunch one Monday afternoon, my cousin Ayodele Akingbade, brother of Kole Akingbade, and Akinwale Akingbade, and our mutual friend, Jide Adedeji, brother of Bro Dokun Adedeji, both mess boys from Grier House, gave me a small measure of Garri (aka African Cassava Flakes), which I planned to consume with my meal of Beans. But, that was not to be, as something very interesting happened, which changed my life!

The aforementioned Lower Sixth boy decided to sit beside me in the dining hall that afternoon, and before I knew what was happening, he took over my Garri completely. Initially, I thought he would only have a few spoonsful, but no, he just went on and on, till I left it for him in protest and deep seated anger.

Then after lunch, he held my hand gingerly, and led me to his room; meanwhile, I was still boiling with anger inside. He also tried talk to me once or twice, but I ignored him. Why should I talk to a Lower Sixth boy who wouldn’t leave me and my Garri alone? I muttered to myself on and on. Eventually, we got to his room, and what he did next blew my mind totally!

To my utter shock, He brought out a small sack of Garri from under his bed, and gave me a good helping out of it. Then, he said ‘Adegbulu, you need to give to be given! Then, he said ‘Adegbulu, you need to give to be given! This Garri is meant to ‘reward you for giving yours to me’. He then went on to lecture and convince me that giving begets giving (Luke 6:38).

Firstly, I could not believe my eyes and ears. Secondly, I never expected such level of generosity from someone I had just tagged my number one enemy, and I was truly ashamed of myself. Immediately, I apologized to him, and he accepted my apologies, but charged me to go out and give for my own sake. That was a huge counsel, which became a part of my life since then, and I can attest to the fact that it is truly profitable to give. He taught me other valuable lessons of life too, which prepared me for life in and out of GCI.

Since that day, I have tried my best to give, many times sacrificially, and I can attest to the fact that God truly rewards givers. Friend, are you a giver? If you are not, please start giving from now on. Give food, give money, clothes, time, energy, love, comfort, concern, advice, smile, hope, expertise, etc.; give anything! Please don’t wait till you become very rich before you give, and don’t be tired of giving, because in due season, you shall reap (Galatians 6:9), in Jesus name. Amen.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me to honor a very supportive, sympathetic, brilliant, and calm old boy of our school; a high jumper of note, and a thorough bred Scientist/Christian; LAWRENCE ONYEAWUCHI.

My Teur (Teacher), if you are reading this piece, please know that we appreciate your love and kindness, plus the teachings you gave us during your short but unforgettable stay in GCI. We trust God to reward you richly day by day, in the name of Jesus Christ who you adore so fervently. Amen.

Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu (Dr. Stoney) is the author of About God! Undeniable Facts & Testimonies

Shout Out (2)

ADEGBULU MUST WRITE AN ARTICLE; FULL STOP!

As a starter, I would like to place it on record that I wasn’t particularly focused during my early years at the famous Government College Ibadan (GCI), Nigeria.  At that period, I was always in trouble, and in the bad books of most senior boys. I wouldn’t blame them much though!

Today, I will narrate how I accidentally became a writer, through the instrumentality of yet another senior boy of our school.

As a starter, I would like to place it on record that I wasn’t particularly focused during my early years at GCI. At that period, I was always in trouble, and in the bad books of most senior boys. I wouldn’t blame them much though!

One day, I was billed to serve three different punishments from three no nonsense senior boys after classes. Of course, I was very scared, and my mind was in turmoil throughout the lecture period. And as I was going back to my room in the scorching African sun after school, trying to figure out what might eventually become of me; a junior boy called me aside, and said another senior boy wanted to see me urgently. At that point, I became really worried and sorry for myself, for I thought I was about to add yet another punishment to my cache for the day.

Anyway, I went to see the aforementioned senior boy, who asked me point blank to submit an article to him within forty-eight hours, for inclusion in the next edition of our school magazine; ‘The Rock’! He was its editor in Chief! Honestly, I couldn’t understand why any sane person could ask me to do such a noble thing then, so, I begged him to spare me the ordeal and shame that could arise from obeying him. He just looked at me intently, and said, ‘Adegbulu, you must write an article, FULL STOP’! Straightaway, I knew I had lost the battle, and I started to cry!

But, I quickly gathered myself together, rushed to the school library, plagiarized an article, and submitted it to him within the deadline he gave me. Its title was ‘Don’t Make Jest of Me’. The senior boy looked at my article closely, then looked at me and said ‘Adegbulu, GCI boys don’t use words like ‘jest’ while classier ones like mock, tease, ridicule, make fun of, poke fun at, or laugh at’, etc., are available. In the end, he chose ‘make fun of’, and the title of my article became ‘Don’t Make Fun of Me’! He also fine- tuned it to look more GCI-like. Finally, he dismissed me, and said ‘Adegbulu, thanks for your article, well done’! Imagine a very senior and classy boy commending someone like me!

The magazine soon came out, and you can imagine how happy I was, when I saw my article with my full identity, ‘Adedayo Adegbulu 2C’, written under it. Some students praised me, while others could just not grasp how such a fine product could emanate from me. And a few weeks afterwards, we went home on holidays, only to realize that my parents had already seen my article, and shown it to loads and loads of people far and wide. I became an instant celebrity, and I felt really cool with myself!

Before long, I found out that I was always writing, and I couldn’t stop! Today, many years after the gentle but, firm push from the aforementioned senior boy, I have written over 500 published articles (Medical and Christian), apart from books, theses, lecture materials, proposals, poems, orations, speeches, etc. I am also the Editor in chief of an electronic magazine, Mind of Christ E-Zine, which can be accessed via www.mindofchrist.org.uk/. Last but not the least, my materials are being read in over one hundred and nineteen (119) countries, in all the continents of the world as at the last count. I give God all the glory!

Friends, God can also help you unearth your hidden potentials today, and make it hugely exceptional. He did for me and countless of others globally; He can do it for you too, if you ask Him (Matthew 7:7). Please ask Him today, and do so fast!

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me to honour a worthy, unassuming, calm, focused, distinguished Nigerian; an Economist of the finest order, a dogged goal getter; Kole Abe. My Teur (Teacher), I thank you for nudging me into a terrain that has now universalized me; far beyond what my Medical career has done for me. My God will surely reward you richly, day after day, in Jesus name. Amen.

Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu (Dr. Stoney) is the author of About God! Undeniable Facts & Testimonies

Shout Out (1)

Recently, someone wrote to honour me for being a huge influence on her. I have never met her before, but she has read a lot of my articles! I was so moved by her action that I decided to likewise honour as many people as I can, who influenced me positively in the past. This is in harmony with the word of God that says: “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honouring each other (Romans 12:10).”

I have therefore dedicated a new category on my blog named Shout Out, to implement my decision. Please, kindly join me to honour the first person today Thank you.

I “FORGET TO TOOK PERMISSION”!

I attended Government College, Ibadan, (GCI); a very prestigious Secondary School in Nigeria! But prior to going there, I spoke very little English.  Meanwhile, English was the official language of the school, and almost everyone there spoke it very well.

In those days, it was the tradition in our school for junior boys to take permission from their seniors before entering rooms that were not theirs. If there was no senior boy around, then junior boys were expected to back off!  One day, in my first year, I entered a room that was not mine without permission! Of course, that was a sacrilege and a major punishable offence, especially as the room was swarming with senior boys at that time!

The following conversation (paraphrased) later ensued between one of the senior boys in the room, and me.

Senior Boy: Adegbulu (i.e. my surname), why did you enter our room without permission?

Me: (I was at that point trembling) Sorry, “I FORGET TO TOOK’ PERMISSION’’!

Immediately, everyone in the room busted out laughing; some rolling on the floor! I am sure they couldn’t believe that a GCI boy could ‘damage’ the Queen’s language as I did. They must have also wondered how on earth someone like me found his way into their school to start with. In any case, the conversation continued as follows:

Senior Boy: (also laughing, but obviously sympathetic) Adegbulu, don’t worry that we are making fun of you! We all make mistakes, don’t we? Next time, say “I FORGOT TO TAKE PERMISSION’’; instead of “I FORGET TO TOOK PERMISSION’’!  Now, go out and do the right thing.

Immediately I went out, properly asked for permission to enter the room, and I was allowed in without any hassle. Can you believe that I was neither punished nor rebuked? Wow, that was awesome!!

My take on the incidence!

The kind Senior Boy gave me the confidence that I badly needed to speak more in English. In the process, I made many mistakes, but, I learnt from them, and moved on. Today, several years after, the story is different, for God has turned my major weakness, into one of my major assets (2 Corinthians 12:9). Hallelujah!

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me to pray for, and give honour to the Senior Boy in question; Taiwo Ty Fatungase; a first-class Aeroplane Pilot; a Captain of substance, and a worthy Soldier of Christ. Thank you my Teur (Teacher). May God continue to bless and lift you up, in Jesus name. Amen.

Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu (Dr. Stoney) is the author of About God! Undeniable Facts & Testimonies